I am the adopted 77 yr. old son of a 92 year old retired U S Marine Corps DI still giving orders. Although I never served, I feel as though I have been instructed by one of the best and have in some small part earned some Corps values that have served me through life. Thanks “Dutch”, Dad’s handle given to him while in training at P.I. After end of WW II Dutch was a Drill Instructor at Paris Island, SC.
I grew up as a Marine’s son, learning to shoot pistols, rifles, shotguns at age 7 and was very proficient at it. He would arrange matches with me against some of the recruits that he wanted to, I guess encourage, and I would win. All the D.I.’s would have a good laugh. This was at Paris Island 1946-47 My favorite time was spent in the armory with Dutch checking out all the weapons and listening to all the sea stories told by the drill instructors. I guess rules were a little more relaxed back then, compared to now days.
One of the more amusing stories I remember hearing was when Dutch was a recruit in training at P.I. year 1939-40, one of the recruits left his foot locker out to far and the D.I. tripped over it during lights out night count. I guess all hell broke out with some choice verbiage in the ear of the offender. Dutch and some of his buddies thinking this was humorous, after lights out a few days later pulled the same fella’s foot locker out. During night count the D.I. sees the foot locker out and lites into recruit with **#!*!!##* language stating if left out again the foot locker would be tossed off the balcony or out the window. Well guess you know what happens next! Except, they switched the recruits foot locker with the gunny’s foot locker and left the gunny’s locker in the isle. True to his word off the balcony went the foot locker. I think there was some company punishment involved when the gunny discovered the next morning it was his locker he had thrown off the balcony! I hope this was a true story and not something made up, I just remember hearing them tell it, either way it is a good story. I think they may have used it in a movie, not sure.
Dutch was a 19 year old squad leader then platoon Sgt. on Saipan and Okinawa. This short story takes place on one of these island that was nothing but a muddy bog during rainy season. Dutch said their boots would be so coated and weighed down with mud that it was almost impossible to move. He said one night on patrol struggling up a muddy hill they heard the Marine on point slip and fall backward knocking everyone down like dominos but no one going anywhere because there boots were so stuck in the mud they all just wound up on their can’s . Really funny to a young kid, probably not so funny to those involved.
Thanks for the memories Dutch and God bless all those who have and are protecting our freedom.
Frank Hundshamer for
Irwin W Hundshamer “Dutch”
USMC MSgt. retired